- Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 March 2009 05:00
- Published on Wednesday, 11 March 2009 05:00
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The Westmoreland County Board of Zoning Appeals will hold a specially scheduled meeting at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, March 30 in the George D. English meeting in order to entertain and act on a challenge brought by Joseph W. Thompson that concerns the county government’s January 12, 2009 contract with The O’Gara Group.
According to the contract, the local government would sell its unoccupied industrial shell building and a surrounding 25-acre tract to O’Gara Group for development as a security training facility.
Thompson’s appeal challenges the local government’s assertion that the O’Gara establishment is in fact a school as defined in the Westmoreland County zoning ordinance.
If the county government’s determination stands, O’Gara Group can build its security training establishment on the referenced 25 acres and an adjacent 325-acre tract the Group also intends to buy without ever having to solicit input from county residents.
At 7:15 p.m. this Tuesday an O’Gara Group representative will meet at Carmel United Methodist Church with interested county residents.
Public sentiment ranges from acceptance or apathy to publicly stated displeasure with the local government’s lack of transparency during a previous negotiating period and, in some instances, staunch opposition to O’Gara’s plans to establish its facility in Westmoreland County.
Thompson’s appeal includes an assertion that the O’Gara project’s land disturbance footprint would cover more than one hundred acres of the 350-acre tract. The appeal is expected to include arguments that the footprint associated with the O’Gara facility does not equate with the footprint of a typical school.
Members of the public will not be allowed to address the BZA during the March 30 proceeding but the public will be permitted to attend.